Charge dropped against mother of missing teenager

Seventeen-year-old Bernadette, from Peterborough, remains unaccounted for since she was reported missing in July.

Bernadette Walker
Bernadette Walker

A murder charge against the mother of missing teenager Bernadette Walker has been dropped, a court has heard.

Seventeen-year-old Bernadette, from Peterborough, remains unaccounted for since she was reported missing in July.

Her parents Sarah and Scott Walker had been jointly accused of her murder.

At a virtual hearing at the Old Bailey, senior judge Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb approved a new three-count indictment.

Scott Walker, 50, is now charged alone with the murder of Bernadette on July 18.

Police and forensics officers investigating the disappearance of Bernadette Walker
Police and forensics officers investigating the disappearance of Bernadette Walker (Joe Giddens/PA)

He is jointly charged with his 37-year-old wife Sarah with two counts of perverting the course of justice.

It is alleged that between July 18 and September 12 they perverted the course of justice by the sending of messages from Bernadette Walker’s telephone giving the impression she was alive.

And on July 21, false information was provided to police relating to their daughter’s disappearance, it is claimed.

The couple were not asked to enter pleas to the charges at the short virtual hearing.

They appeared separately by video link from Peterborough prison and spoke only to confirm their identities.

The judge set an adjourned plea and trial preparation hearing for January 29 ahead of a trial date which has yet to be confirmed.

The defendants, both of Millfield, Peterborough, were remanded into custody.

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